Stress echocardiography is a test that uses ultrasound imaging to show how well your heart muscles are working to pump blood to your body. It is mainly used to detect a decrease in blood flow to the heart -- coronary artery disease. A resting echocardiogram will be done first. While you lie on your left side with your left arm out, a small device called a transducer is held against your chest. A special gel is used to help the transducer slide over your chest.
You will then walk on a treadmill. Slowly, you will be asked to walk faster and on an incline. It is like being asked to walk fast or jog up a hill. Usually, you will need to walk for around 5 to 10 minutes. Your doctor will ask you to stop: When your heart is beating at the target rate, when you are too tired to continue, or if you are having chest pain or a change in your blood pressure that worries your doctor. Your blood pressure and heart rhythm (EKG) will be monitored throughout the procedure.
More echocardiogram images will be taken while your heart rate is increasing, or when it reaches its peak. The images will show whether any parts of the heart muscle do not work as well as your heart rate increases. This is a sign that part of the heart may not be getting enough blood or oxygen because of narrowed or blocked arteries.
When preparing for the Des Moines Cardiology soundwave test DO NOT eat or drink for at least 1-2 hours before the test also wear loose, comfortable clothing and good walking shoes.